I have looked at the league rosters, and came up with some players which could become contributors. I have limited the scope to players no older than 25, and with current contracts of $3 million and under, with a few exceptions. I did not put too much emphasis on our immediate needs, and only a bit about how we could attain them.
This is my second post. The first post contains my reasons for examining young players, as well as players from Charlotte to Detroit.
Golden State - Anthony Morrow (age 24, $ 0.7 million salary) and C.J. Watson (26, 1.0). It is difficult to assess the value of a player coached by Nellie, since it's hard to project how this player will thrive in a more conventional setting. Although Morrow commands a lot of attention as a scorer, I think Watson is the better player, who will be a more valuable asset. Morrow is a pure shooting guard. He does bring the deep shot we so covet, but little else. Although Watson is a little older than the age limit I gave, I think he merits a look. He does a little of everything, scoring, passing, rebounding and playing defense. He averaged 1.6 steals, and I think that he is a better defender than is visible at Golden State. Also, he can have a big night, as he did against *facepalm* the Kings (40 points).
LA Clippers - DeAndre Jordan (21, 0.7). Stuck behind Chris Kaman (and until recently Marcus Camby), Jordan only averaged about 16 minutes per game. In these minutes, he managed to average five boards and almost a block. His shooting percentage is above .600 in both seasons in the NBA. His minutes have been climbing throughout the season, and in April he averaged 27.6 minutes, which translated into 8.3 points on a .643 clip, and 10.7 rebounds. Not shabby. At draftexpress, they like his defensive potential, but he seems to need some work there. I think the Clippers will not let this guy go so easily, but hey, we're talking the Clippers.
Memphis - Marcus Williams (24, 0.8).When you're playing behind Conley and Tinsley, things aren't looking too bright. This kid has the talent, but seems incapable o translate it into solid play. But he is getting older, and perhaps with his next team he will understand that it is his last chance. Westphal seems to be a good coach for youngsters, but I would still be reluctant to take Williams. I like Sam Young (24, 0.8) the college teammate of Blair and fellow sleeper in the draft. However, I don't think he will grow much beyond his current capabilities.
Milwaukee - Luc Mbah a Moute (23, 0.7). This guy is lauded by Scott Skiles for his defense and hard work, and that is a pretty strong endorsement. A solid rebounder, and capable at the offensive end, but not spectacular. This is another glue guy which could benefit any team, especially if he improves on offense. I cannot imagine the Bucks trading Ersan Ilyasova (22, 2.1) but he is a great player, very solid and smart. A better rebounder than Casspi, and a bit larger. Finally, I would love to rave about the rebounding capabilities (and little else) of my fellow Dutchman Dan Gadzuric, but he doesn't fit my criteria. He is too old and overpaid.
Minnesota - Kevin Love (21, 3.4). I really, really like Darko Milicic, and he is a guy who could still become a star, but it seems the Wolves want to hold onto him and have made Love the main trade bait. Love is not a bad consolation price. He is over my self-imposed cap of $ 3 million, but for a double-double machine, he is worth it. Maybe less of a scorer compared to David Lee, but a better defender, despite the fact that he doesn't block may shots. Lee will be overpaid for sure, Love may still be had at a reasonable price.
New Jersey - Courtney Lee (24, 1.3) and Terrence Williams (22, 2.0). Talking about Lee, here is the one I like most. Chastised over his alley-oop miss in the finals, he played admirably for a rookie. He has good size, and although his 3P % was down this year, in Orlando he shot .404. A good, active defender who can be an elite defender according to draftexpress, he plays within the flow of the game and is selfless, I believe Lee can be a valuable contributor and he's one of my favorites. Williams is a stud, who can get a triple double on any given night. In March and April, he averaged about 30 minutes and approx. 14.2 points, along with almost 7 rebounds and more than 5 assists. He will be very difficult to pry loose, I suspect. But with new ownership in Jersey, you never know what will happen there.
New Orleans - Darren Collison (22, 1.3) and Marcus Thornton (22, 0.4). Two heralded rookies, and both could fill needs for the Kings. Both can shoot from 3, where Collison connected on .400 %, and Thornton on .374 %. Collison has the making of a capable point guard, but is only 6-0. Thornton is a bit small for the SF position, and not a great rebounder, but he is a scorer, pure and simple. It will be interesting to see what happens in New Orleans, since a lot of the decision-making revolves around the status of Chris Paul.
Also, the Hornets have a very interesting big man. No, I'm not talking Okafor. He is expensive, and has taken a step back this year, especially on offense. If you can't average more than 10.4 pints while playing with Paul (even though he was injured for stretches), you're not looking good. But what about Aaron Gray (25, 1.0)? He averaged 4.3 points in his rookie season for Chicago, and about 3.3 rebounds and 3.3 points this season while averaging less than 10 minutes per game. In games where he played 17 minutes or more, he put up some good numbers. In the right system he could be a valuable rotation player, as confirmed by draftexpress, where he was also criticized for a lack of defensive abilities (old articles, though). And in his 24 games for the Hornets, his TS % was .612 (this stat I added especially for pookey).
New York - Earl Barron (28, 0.1). On to the next 7-footer. A pleasant surprise as a late season pick-up by the Knicks, Barron actually averaged a double-double during a span of 7 games. A very small sample, but I think some teams will be interested to see more. I'm not sure about him, but there are few quality big guys, even few quality big back-ups. He might be one. He is a bit older at 28, but hasn't had much mileage.
Oklahoma - Eric Maynor (22, 1.3). Do I need to say more? If we pick up Maynor, the only relevant question will be whether we will win it all in 2 or 3 years. But seriously, he is a poised, intelligent playmaker. And on to one of my favorites, Serge Ibaka (20, 1.1). The guy had 7 blocks in a play-off game against the Fakers, for crying out loud. Do you need to know more? About 5.4 rebounds in 18 minutes per game, as well as 1.3 blocks. In April he played 22.6 minutes, getting 10 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.9 blocks. The Thunder already have Nenad Krstic, so they don't really need Ibaka, right? One can hope... I also had Thabo Sefolosha (25, 2.8) on my list, who is great defensively. However, the play-offs showed that his offense is liability to the team, so I dropped him.
I hope to have the third installment ready by tomorrow.